The former CEO and co-founder of Care Investment Trust will join Blueprint Healthcare Real Estate Advisors next month as the firm’s first president and CEO — and he predicts the market will be ripe for transactions in the coming year.
Salvatore “Torey” Riso’s first goal will be to get a sense of where Blueprint’s business has been, deepen existing relationships with clients, and expand from there, he told Skilled Nursing News.
“Seniors housing and then skilled nursing — that’s been the core area of where Blueprint has spent their time,” Riso said. “I’ve been on the other side a number of times, and they’ve been quite good.”
Because of a strong economy and robust activity levels in recent months, Riso is “very bullish” on seniors housing and health care real estate for 2018.
But this doesn’t mean established businesses in those fields should rest easy.
“I think the market is such that there’s going to be continued activity of the smaller folks getting bigger and the bigger folks getting smaller,” he told SNN. “Senior housing, skilled nursing, it’s not a business suited for the McDonald’s and the Starbucks of the world.”
Skilled nursing is facing pressures from several areas, including externally — such as from politicians and regulators — and from within as the industry changes, Riso said. The occupancy struggles in skilled nursing are a symptom of broader shifts in the health care industry, from hospitals to senior housing and long-term care, he explained.
In this environment, larger entities have been struggling, and Riso expects the institutional entities in skilled nursing to keep downsizing. Smaller and mid-size players, meanwhile, are more likely to do better, both in skilled nursing and in the wider senior housing and health care sectors.
“The smaller players, the smaller regional owners and operations, and investors that partner with those folks are really the ones that can best deploy capital in the space and get the best long-term return on the space,” Riso said.
With 25 years in the real estate investment industry, Riso most recently served as president and CEO of CIT; he was part of the team that founded that firm in 2007. He was the architect of a strategy that focused on investment partnerships with small- and medium-sized operators in the senior care and housing sector.
“Torey brings a great deal of knowledge and expertise and has always been a champion of the Blueprint culture,” Ben Firestone, senior managing director and one of the founders of Blueprint, said in a release announcing the appointment. “His vision, strategy, and execution track record is exactly what we need as we take this transformational step forward in our firm’s development.”
Written by Maggie Flynn